Well this is some pretty sad news. After sitting out for more than a decade, the Viper returned to Endurance racing last year and participated in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans . It seems that triumphant return was short lived as SRT and Chrysler have announced that they are pulling out of the historic race.
While it is not being claimed as the official cause, and the production and motorsport programs are separately funded, the recent closure of the Viper production plant in Detroit due to low sales is likely playing some part in this decision. Racing is expensive; it’s a simple but saddening fact.
Thankfully you can still hear the V-10 wail of a Viper GTS-R on track as the SRT Racing team is still competing in the US TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for the remainder of the season. Current plans are to continue with the series next year, but the Le Mans run was supposed to be a multi-year initiative as well.
If you have the means, and you enjoy the Viper, maybe you should put one in your garage and help these guys out.
Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper GTS-R.
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R is a raceing version of the SRT Viper. It features the same 8.0-liter, V-10 engine but racing rules and regulations restrict its power to just 490 horsepower; that is a cut of 150 horsepower compared to the standard car’s 640 raging ponies. Due to the lost power, and the heavily increased downforce, the GTS-R falls short of the road car’s 206 mph top speed, clocking in at 185.
When taking hairpin turns around Sebring though, 185 mph is more than enough to hang with the competition.
So far the team has been off to a solid start with the two racing GTS-Rs claiming a 1st place finish at Road America and taking 3rd overall in last year’s ALMS GT Class, and a 3rd place class finish a few weeks ago at the Rolex 24 Hours in Daytona.